If you’re writing dialogue, attributions, or quotes, there’s a good chance you’ll need to use the word said. But it’s important to know there are other words that you can use in place of said to reveal information about the speaker or the context of the quote.
When a character is speaking, it’s important to have them speak in a way that matches their tone and emotions. Sometimes, that means using a quieter tone, like “She’s saying it with her head down.” But there are also other times when a character needs to be louder, whether they’re yelling out a warning or trying to scare off a monster in the next room.
Using a variety of different words for dialogue can help make your writing more accurate and interesting for the people who read it. First, word variety helps readers understand what your character is talking about.
Synonyms for Said Convey a Character’s Emotions
But it can also make your writing more expressive. You can use synonyms that convey your characters’ emotions, from fear to curiosity.
You can also use a synonym for said that makes your character look more trustworthy or authoritative, like “She’s always saying that she’s the best person in the world to deal with this situation.” Synonyms are perfect for creating a believable and credible character.
The best thing about using alternative synonyms for said is that they don’t require any change in punctuation, so you can add them without having to worry about changing your dialogue tags.
Said Doesn’t Mean What It Seems To Mean
The term “said” can be misleading, as it implies that a sentence is meant to have a specific meaning or message. This is actually quite difficult to accomplish, since the meaning of a sentence can often be very different from what a person actually intends to convey by saying it.
Another big difference between the literal, inherent meaning of a sentence and what someone else intended to say is what we call speaker meaning. It’s what a person is actually trying to convey by saying the sentence, and it can be quite different from what the sentence literally means.
This can be an especially important consideration when writing about quotes and attributions, as journalists are often pressed for time, and they need to write clearly and concisely. Using short, direct words like “said” helps them communicate their message clearly and quickly.
Here’s a list of 103 synonyms for the word said